Back to School

Dear OTES Families,

 

            We are coming off a monumental 2020-2021 school year and we have appreciated your continued support throughout the year. We know we had many challenges, but are proud of the year we were able to stitch together and we know we couldn’t have done it without our incredible families.

            We are hoping to get back to “normal” and look forward to being able to offer even more activities and experiences to enrich/educate our children. Much like last summer, guidelines and expectations are changing on a regular basis, it is difficult to make definite plans for the fall. But these current guidelines will be followed for health and safety when opening back up this fall:

  • Continued Masking for all staff and students in and outside our building for the first six weeks of school.
  • Continued Masking for transportation on school buses.
  • Continued symptom screening at home and at the entryways of OTES
  • Continued social distancing, surface cleaning, and hand washing.

 

            We are hoping to get more parents involved in order to contribute to our school’s overall goals and mission. This year we would love to have more parents involved in our Parent Teacher Club activities. We usually meet once a month, with our first meeting date of September 15, 2021, at 6 pm, to help shape upcoming activities and to expand student opportunities with the help of parent volunteers. One area we would like to have more support would be in our school’s library. We are making some incredible changes to the library organization and having more help with the daily operation of our library will be necessary in order to fulfill our plans. We also have our school’s incredible learning garden to continue to help foster a connection with nature within our students. Parents are always needed to help with a wide variety of tasks to keep the gardens thriving. Research has shown that parents that are involved in their children’s education have a positive impact on their child’s achievement and development.

            Although we are very proud of the school year we were able to produce last year, we took time to examine some areas we want to revisit and recommit our focus to for the upcoming school year. During the 2021-2022 school year, Mrs. St. Peter and Mrs. Harvey will be leading our staff back on a journey to explore the scientific method and science standards that may have been set aside during the 2020-2021 school year. We will use the surrounding University of Maine Forest as a scientific lab to introduce our students to the many layers of living things and concepts impacting forest life. Each trimester we will lead our students through a series of lessons to help them discover the many factors contributing to the health of the forest.

  • Trimester 1---What is the forest?
  • Trimester 2---How do we use the forest?
  • Trimester 3---How do we save the forest? 

This year-long study will lead us to our Earth Day Celebration in the spring, which we started last school year and had great success and fun with our students. In reflecting back to last school year, we as educators know how lucky we were with the land and space provided to us for outdoor learning experiences for our students. We believe being outside and having this space allowed for our students and staff to stay healthy and experience nature in all its beauty. We will continue to offer and explore our outdoor spaces and find creative ways to incorporate those experiences into our existing curriculum this year as well.

 

We know we continue to be challenged by the current conditions in our state and throughout the country. We also know we were able to achieve an incredible school experience at OTES with the help of our school staff, parents, and community members. Our kids deserve the best and we are determined to provide the best for them at all times. We continue to be committed to their educational, social, and emotional needs as we move through the next school year. Please do not hesitate to reach out to ask questions, share your ideas, and provide feedback so we can be assured we are all doing the best we can for our most precious gift---OUR CHILDREN.

 

Please make sure you have completed the following few steps to assure consistent and constant communication:

  • Follow our school’s Facebook Page, RSU #34 OTES
  • Download our school’s app on Google Play or Apple Store: RSU #34
  • Visit the district’s website: RSU #34.org and choose OTES from the MENU